Grocery shopping online has changed my life. It’s a dramatic statement, but this simple adjustment has made the biggest difference in my day-to-day existence.
I actually love grocery shopping – the pretty displays inspire me to buy ingredients for gourmet masterpieces and browsing the health food section makes me feel better about myself. However, I’d always spend more than I’d like to, and at the end of the week I’d inevitably have yellowing broccoli in my crisper. I’d often throw out meat I didn’t get around to cooking, and half the time I’d end up at the shops mid-week, picking up additional items for dinner.
My foray into online grocery shopping started with a meal plan I wrote up when I was determined to lose weight. I scheduled all my meals into a neat little weekly planner, and the next logical step seemed to be ordering online – to just buy what I needed, with less chance of Cheezels sneaking into my trolley.
Both supermarket giants offer online grocery services, and although ALDI doesn’t have this feature I will be all over it if they ever do. Coles offers free delivery on your first order if it’s over $100, and Woolies if it’s over $150. Watching someone else lug my laundry detergent, soda water and 24-pack of toilet paper up the stairs into my kitchen was a sweet sight indeed, but these days I usually opt for the free pick up. Delivery costs $11 – $16, and sometimes I still indulge if I’m feeling lazy.
The main concern of my friends when I rave about groceries online is: Will the fruit and veg be seedy? The answer is a resounding NO. These grocery moguls just can’t afford to have ‘seedy produce’ associated with their name, and I’ve always found my tomatoes to be firm and flawless and my broccoli to be emerald green.
On a few occasions, I have not received items that were on my final bill. The first time it happened, I called Customer Service immediately, prepared to do battle, but the rep simply looked up my order and asked me if I would prefer a refund or a credit on my next bill. Another time I got Atlantic salmon fillets instead of the chicken thighs I had ordered, and the lovely girl on the phone refunded me for the chicken and let me keep the salmon. Winning!
Another thing I love about online grocery shopping is the fact that you can have a cart open all week and add to it until you’re ready to check out. Once you have placed your order and booked your delivery or pick up, you also have a window in which you can modify your order – the final bill isn’t charged until delivery is confirmed.
Well, I didn’t lose weight, which is more to do with boozing and brunches than groceries, but I definitely have less food wastage and less need to run to the shops everyday. The necessity of a meal plan means that I stick to it more – it’s rare that I find myself not having a packed lunch ready to go to work with me.
Placing an order for pick up costs me nothing extra than if I’d done my shopping in-store, and I can order the night before for a next-day pick up. All this adds up to more time up my sleeve and more money in my pocket.
Here’s some online shopping tips:
- Go nuts on the specials page so you don’t get FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)– it’s much easier to reassess and take things out of your e-cart than return items to the shelves in real life
- If you do modify your order after you’ve placed it, be aware that specials may have changed and you are subject to the current pricing
- I don’t like having produce sitting in my fridge for too long, so sometimes I account for a quick mid-week veggie run to the shops; strictly no Cheezels permitted
- Cutlets have bones in them. You probably know this already but I learned the hard way.
Emma Lee is a Brisbane native but lives to travel. She is also a big fan of food, good books and browsing at markets.
Since graduating from Griffith University with a Communications Degree, Emma has put her writing skills to good use in jobs ranging from Media Rep for a rugby team to Marketing Manager for a Japanese ski resort.
Emma dreams of publishing a novel one day and wants to live in a luxury camper van that never stays in one place for longer than a week.